Well, what a crazy day!! It’s only 8pm and I’m so tired!
Yesterday was fun, with the launch of the sale at noon. There were a couple of camera crews there, and a few friends. The afternoon was a whirl of trying to sort out the eBay auction, deal with the film crew requests, answer the phone as much as I could, talk to friends, all done while still managing to drink a fair quantity of champagne, wine then beer!
We had a couple of small technical difficulties, which my web designer struggled to resolve as soon as the auction started, but we were unable to get the help we needed from eBay at noon on a Sunday. Pre-registration to bid was already confirmed with them, and was supposed to be switched on as soon as the auction started. However, it did not work, and the help centre where my support agent works was closed. We were unable to get any further useful help, and I said it should be no problem, it would be resolved in the morning, before bids got too high.
By the end of the afternoon, bids were at about $300,000, and I thought that would be it. However, by bedtime, it had gone up to over $650,000!! I was staggered.
I was up again at 4am this morning, and on my way to the Channel 9 studios for an early morning appearance. I had a couple of minutes before I had to set off, and quickly turned the computer on to see how the bidding was going – I just burst out laughing – it was at $1.9 million, and as I sat there in dis-belief, it went over $2million!!
I drove up to the studio in a bit of a daze, and discussed this during the interview. I guess now, as I look back at the end of a roller-coaster of a day, I was pretty trusting, or naive, to think these might be genuine bids, but throughout the day I also tried to maintain a realistic and skeptical attitude about it all.
The phone rang a couple of times on the way home, and I did two live radio interviews while driving along.
When I got home, both home phone and mobile phone were going constantly. I have no idea how many interviews I did, but every time I hung up, the phone would ring again immediately, and I was off again, usually with the same set of questions.
Eventually I got a short break, and gave eBay a call, and got some peace by turning the mobile phone off. My helpful support guy soon had the issue resolved, and no more bidding was allowed, other than by registered users.
I left the mobile switched off, which gave me a bit of time to do some other stuff on the computer, such as try to read some emails, and do some more bidder registrations. Calls kept coming in though, and I only got bits and pieces done.
Two more TV stations called, and their crews turned up at the house, and after a hurried lunch, the phone calls continued. It was all good fun, and I was thoroughly enjoying feeling like a millionaire.
During this time I was trying to get into the bidder details section of eBay, but managed to achieve nothing until I finally gave up and turned the home phone off too, and managed to concentrate on what I was doing.
I think most people don’t realise the level of information a seller can access about bidders, and I soon had home phone numbers for all the top bidders. A few entertaining phonecalls later, I had weeded out some definate fakes. It was very satisfying to get a bidder on the line, and tell them who I was. “Oh!” was the usual surprised reply, followed usually by some lame excuse, “My friend must have done it / my eBay account has been hijacked / I’ve changed my mind.” Hmmmmm.
I wasn’t too surprised, and started the drudge of deleting all the suspect bids – there were ALOT! There are obviously a lot of very bored idiots out there who need to get a life, but who think it’s better to bid on mine with no intention or ability to follow it up.
Eventually, as I worked backwards through the bids, I discovered that the highest bid from a genuinely registered bidder was down at $155,000, and I decided to delete all bids above that. I may have deleted some genuine ones, but if they want to place their bids again, they will be welcome to when they register.
I’ve been sorting that out now for a couple of hours, and re-emailed all the registered bidders to let them know what was going on, and to apologise for the palava!
It’s obviously disappointing, but not too surprising, and there is still a long way to go.
I am getting heaps of email demanding to know what is going on, with bidding going up and down, some even suggesting this is all evidence of a big hoax. The only hoaxers here are the idiots bidding on something they have no intention of following up on.
Anyway, what a fun day, but very tiring. The phones are still off, and I think they’ll stay that way until morning. I’m off to bed! Goodnight.
Link to the auction:-